PORTAND, OR — Johnstone Supply, Inc., held its Industry Leadership Technology Conference recently in Tempe, AZ. Vendors from over 50 companies attended the conference, which focused on key industry issues facing Johnstone and its suppliers. According to Johnstone, the goals of the conference were “to collect information on cooperative and management issues related to vendor service and communication, and to acquire insights from vendors in an open discussion environment.”

“This was the very first time I’ve seen a company do this,” said Dean Anderson, a Honeywell representative. “Johnstone asked, ‘What do we need to do better?’ They are really identifying the steps Johnstone needs to take to lead the industry and be at the forefront rather than just follow.”

Conference activities included a keynote presentation by industry expert Dr. Adam Fein, who discussed strategic issues confronting the wholesale distribution industry. In addition, breakout sessions included presentations from suppliers on key issues facing the cooperative, with vendors describing what they saw as an ‘ideal distributor.’ Also, the conference provided interactive discussions with Johnstone management and a pre-conference vendor survey.

“The fact that they’ve been holding [the technology conference] consistently for years has built up a level of trust, and proves that Johnstone has been completely open and fair to their suppliers,” said Jim Rutz, a Tecumseh rep at the event. “Of all the conferences, this was the most candid exchange between a manufacturer and vendors that I’ve ever seen.”

For more information on the conference, visit www.johnstonesupply.com (website).

Publication date: 03/11/2002